Saturday 26 January 2019

#BookReview Annelies by David R. Gillham @drgillham @VikingBooks @FreshFiction

Annelies by David R. Gillham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A powerful and deeply humane new novel that asks the question: What if Anne Frank survived the Holocaust?

The year is 1945, and Anne Frank is sixteen years old. Having survived the concentration camps, but lost her mother and sister, she reunites with her father, Pim, in newly liberated Amsterdam. But it’s not as easy to fit the pieces of their life back together. Anne is adrift, haunted by the ghosts of the horrors they experienced, while Pim is fixated on returning to normalcy. Her beloved diary has been lost, and her dreams of becoming a writer seem distant and pointless now.

As Anne struggles to overcome the brutality of memory and build a new life for herself, she grapples with heartbreak, grief, and ultimately the freedom of forgiveness. A story of trauma and redemption, Annelies honors Anne Frank’s legacy as not only a symbol of hope and perseverance, but also a complex young woman of great ambition and heart.

Anne Frank is a cultural icon whose diary painted a vivid picture of the Holocaust and made her an image of humanity in one of history’s darkest moments. But she was also a person—a precocious young girl with a rich inner life and tremendous skill as a writer. In this masterful new novel, David R. Gillham explores with breathtaking empathy the woman—and the writer—she might have become.


What if Anne Frank had survived? What if she never died in a concentration camp and instead was reunited with her father and had to pick up the pieces left of her life? Having to deal with a life without her mother and sister. Her life as a writer seems like a pointless dream and her diary lost forever. How can she see forward when so much in her life is bleak and she has lost so much?


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